Bayern crush Hamburg, Leipzig edge Cologne

FILE - In this Sunday, April 3, 2016 file photo, Moenchengladbach's Granit Xhaka celebrates after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Hertha BSC Berlin in Moenchengladbach, Germany. Arsenal has signed 23-year-old midfielder Granit Xhaka, Wednesday May 25, 2016, the team's first addition to the squad in the transfer window, after captaining the German team to fourth place in the Bundesliga. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
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Bayern crush Hamburg, Leipzig edge Cologne

Munich, Feb 26 (IANS) Robert Lewandowski led the way with a hattrick as FC Bayern Munich hammered Hamburger SV 8-0 in a rather one-sided clash in the Bundesliga football championship here.

In the other match in the German top division on Saturday evening, Leipzig reaped their second consecutive win after beating Cologne 3-1, reports Xinhua news agency.

Table toppers Bayern showed no mercy with Hamburg as the German giants whitewashed the visitors, scoring thrice in the first half half and five times after halftime.

Hamburg worked out the first chance of the game as Douglas Santos pulled just wide following a corner in the 13th minute.

But the hosts broke the deadlock 17 minutes into the game after Arturo Vidal poked home Thomas Mueller’s square pass.

Bayern needed another seven minutes to double the lead as Lewandowski smashed a penalty into the bottom right corner.

The Poland striker remained in the thick of things scoring Bayern’s third goal three minutes before the break.

Lewandowski wrapped his hattrick after the restart, clinching his 19th goal of the season from inside the box in the 54th minute.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men kept on the relentless pressure as David Alaba tapped in Mueller’s assist to make it 5-0 before substitute Kingsley Coman provided two goals in four minutes.

Bayern rounded off the dominant performance with a goal from star winger Arjen Robben, who finished off a solo run from inside the box with three minutes remaining.

With this result, Bayern Munich remain atop the standings with a five-point advantage whereas Hamburg slumped into the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, second placed Leipzig remain close on Bayern’s heels after overcoming Cologne 3-1 on home soil.

They secured a perfect start in front of their home crowd as Emil Forsberg opened the scoring after Timo Werner headed a clearance into the path of the Swedish midfielder five minutes into the game.

Things went from bad to worse for Cologne after Dominik Maroh cleared a low cross from Naby Keita into the wrong goal to double the lead for the hosts in the 34th minute.

After the break, Cologne piled on the pressure and pulled one back through Yuya Osako, who slotted home at the near post in the 53rd minute.

Timo Werner restored Leipzig’s two-goal lead against the run of play following a counter attack.

Ralph Hasenhuettl’s men remained in control of the proceedings and reaped their second consecutive win.

Leipzig stay on the second place, five points adrift of front-runners Bayern, while Cologne continue to hold on to the seventh position on the standings.

Elsewhere, third placed Borussia Dortmund defeated Freiburg 3-0 thanks to a second-half brace from Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Leverkusen lost 2-0 to Mainz as the goals from Stefan Bell and Levin Oeztunali separated the two sides.

Augsburg came from behind to edge bottom dwelling Darmstadt 2-1 as Paul Verhaegh and Raul Bobadilla turned the tides. Berlin sealed a 2-0 victory over 10-men Frankfurt.

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